I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday as most people do, and as I ate the many dips sprawled out on the coffee table I talked more with my friends who were over rather than watching the awful Seahawks scrimmage that was playing on the television. The game didn’t have my attention and the commercials weren’t even that funny.
Then a commercial came on that stole my attention. It was an ad for Coca-Cola that started out with a man riding a horse through an open field and a voice singing in the background, “Oh beautiful for spacious skies…” The singing in the background then changed to Spanish, and as the commercial progressed the song continued in different languages throughout to form a cohesive, beautiful piece.
After the commercial had ended all my friends had the same comments:
“That was really good.”
“I liked that one.”
…Then I got on Twitter.
“This is America, speak English.”
“That commercial was a disgrace to America.”
“Hey Coke, get your shit together. This is Merica, we sing in English. Get right or get out.”
I should have known better than to get on twitter after such a commercial, because now the pride and patriotism that the commercial had me feeling was replaced by rage and frustration from the rude and ignorant tweets I came across on my timeline.
Am I the only one that missed the memo that English as a first language is a requirement for being deemed a true American? America doesn’t have an official language, so why are English-speakers pretentious enough to claim it as the one and only language of America and if you can’t speak it, well, then quite frankly we don’t have the means, time or patience to accommodate you.
I was unaware that assimilation was still a thing or that we decided to adopt the premise of Russia’s Russification idea and make every non-white, non-English-speaking “American” rid themselves of their cultural identity and first-language and then, and only then, may they free themselves of the quotation marks chained to their status as an American.
But what’s beautiful about that?
America’s beauty lies within its people, not their ability to speak English.
America’s beauty can be seen in the eyes of the farmer who wakes up at the crack of dawn to tend to his fields. America’s beauty comes from the mom who left familiarity behind in her home country with hopes to give her kids a better life. America’s beauty lies within the hearts of those chasing their idea of the American Dream, no matter their socio-economic status, language of choice, or place of birth.
Why some people believe that America closed its doors to immigrants after the 17th century is beyond me. As if America is no longer a melting pot of cultures, races, ethnicities and languages.
Whether your skies are spacious, espacioso, or spacieux, whether your waves of grain are amber, bursztyn, or kehribar, and whether your mountains are purple, porffor or purpuran, this country is beautiful and so are you.